Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General Suresh Kumar
U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service
Washington State China Relations Business Council Lunch
Thursday, April 19, 2011
As prepared for delivery
Thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction. I also want to thank the Washington State China Relations Business Council for inviting me to speak here today, as well as iSoftStone and Microsoft, who I understand provided this wonderful lunch. The commercial relationship between the United States and China is strong and will only grow, both in breadth and depth, in the years to come.
Events such as this are an opportunity to enhance the U.S.-China commercial dialogue. Chinese firms, such as iSoftStone, are at the forefront of what will be a period of significantly increasing FDI flows to the U.S. in the coming years, directly contributing to U.S. GDP and employment growth. But FDI also accounts for almost 20 percent of all U.S. exports. This makes FDI attraction an activity that supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which calls for doubling U.S. exports in five years and supporting several million American jobs.
This Administration’s overarching policy aims to transform the U.S. economy and lay the foundation for sustainable long term success. By investing in emerging technologies and encouraging innovation, we help create new market sectors like renewable energy. Through education programs we are developing skills that will help sustain innovation and build a competitive advantage. And through commercialization initiatives such as the National Export Initiative, we help connect innovative products and services to global markets.
As Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, I lead a team of 1,500 trade and investment professionals in 109 offices across the U.S. and 127 cities in 79 countries. The Commercial Service has some 100 employees in China, with 5 offices there. In addition to facilitating exports, our professionals assist U.S. economic development organizations seeking to attract Chinese FDI. Through collaboration with staff in Washington, these China-based professionals also respond to Chinese investors’ inquiries and address Chinese investor concerns about federal rules or regulations
As we begin the second decade of the 21st century, it is time to take the next step in strengthening the U.S.-China commercial relationship. With the Obama Administration’s focus on Winning the Future through innovation, education and commercialization, it requires forging new global partnerships that will drive the U.S. economy forward and create jobs in the United States and abroad.
The U.S. has a longstanding policy of openness to foreign direct investment. Foreign firms are welcome to participate in our economy.
I encourage the U.S. attendees here to connect with your Chinese counterparts to help foster U.S.-China commercial relations and work with the Commerce’s Invest in America team to learn more about how the Commercial Service can facilitate greater Chinese investment into the United States.Thank you.
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